If you recall the thrilling refueling scene in “Air Force One,” I’ll have you know that it is actually true. As with many military aircraft, AFO has a distinct ability to refuel in the air. This is usually reserved for emergency situations only. And is very rarely used.
When the plane is at 35,000 feet, it can extend a pole at its tail and give to a trailing aircraft. Because of this feature, the plane is able to stay in the air for as long as necessary and keep the president safe and far from any disasters on the ground.
In the case that a backup for Air Force One is needed, its big brother steps in. His name is E-4B, AKA "Doomsday Plane." The E-4B is an airborne nuclear bunker and command center that was designed during the Cold War as protection from a nuclear attack. Doomsday is always on standby, following Air Force One in case of an emergency. There are reportedly four Doomsday Planes in existence.
Both Air Force One and "Doomsday" are able to stay in the air for days and outrun even the blow of a nuclear explosion. Just like Air Force One planes, most of the Doomsday Planes’ capacities are classified information.
The President needs to be ready to travel anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. For this reason, Air Force One can fly at a speed that is close to the speed of sound. The typical cruising speed of the Air Force One is 580 miles per hour. But, it can fly or, shall we say, zoom up to a speed of 650 mph. It can also fly high and reach a maximum altitude of 45,100 feet, far above commercial flights' height.
It's important for the plane to be able to travel fast, so when allies order a meeting promptly, the President can be almost anywhere within a few hours. And, of course, run from enemy aircraft at a record speed.
Built To Survive
When you're under a nuclear attack, your chance of survival is basically at 0%. So, if that happens, you better find the AFO and take cover. In the AFO, you have a good chance of surviving an attack. Air Force One is a bunker in the case of a nuclear attack. The body of the plane has armor-plating and armor-plated glass in the windows.
The plane is able to outrun the blast from a ground attack and be a blast-shelter of sorts as well. Plus, radioactive material can't impale the body of the plane. There are probably more details we don't know of because they are kept top-secret.
You'll never have to worry about going hungry while on board, and the food onboard is way better than what the rest of us are eating when we fly. The place is always stocked with fresh ingredients (in case of an extended flight), which are prepared by several chefs in two complete kitchens. Most of the meals are created in a kitchen at Joint Base Andrews, where they are then vacuum-sealed and frozen. The crew then reheats the meals on the plane.
Two kitchens allow the staff to prepare 4-course meals for 100 people in such a tight space, at 45,000 feet in the air. One thing that is lacking in Air Force One’s kitchens is a fryer. For this reason, the fries on board tend to be soggy. To keep top-of-the-line food fresh, what do you need? Two $12 million refrigerators, of course, the amount that the refrigerators on Air Force One reportedly cost. Fortunately and logically, the order for the refrigerators was canceled.